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Algeria ruling party rebels against leader | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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ALGIERS, (AFP) — Several members of Algeria’s ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) announced Saturday they had launched an impeachment procedure against the party’s secretary-general.

The rebels in the North African country’s former single party accuse Abdelaziz Belkhadem of nepotism.

They started challenging his leadership in the run-up to the May 10 legislative election, which saw the FLN buck the regional “Arab Spring” and tighten its grip on power while moderate Islamists lost ground.

“During a meeting in Algiers Saturday, 210 out of the 345 central committee members withdrew their confidence from Belkhadem,” Boudjemaa Haichour, the leader of the party rebels, told AFP.

“We only need 21 more signatures to call an extraordinary session of the central committee during which he will be impeached,” he added.

Belkhadem, 67, is close to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and considered a moderate Islamist.

The rebels inside the party which has ruled Algeria since independence from France in 1962 accuse Belkhadem of “favouring nepotism and maintaining in positions of power people who are out of synch with the country’s evolution,” Haichour said.

The FLN mustered 221 of the national assembly’s 462 seats in last week’s vote, while the allied party headed by Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia took 70, giving the regime a comfortable majority.

The election was widely seen as a primary for the 2014 presidential election, which Bouteflika — who is 75 and was a minister in Algeria’s first independent government 50 years ago — is not expected to contest.